In a previous blog, we began a discussion about how we are to control our thoughts. Taking our thoughts captive and making them submissive to Christ surely is hard work, but it is essential to help us live in victory over sin and live lives that are pleasing to God.
The main verse we are focusing on concerning the subject of controlling our thoughts is Philippians 4:8. Let’s review this passage and dig a little deeper:
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8
One of my favorite teachings I’ve come across on this verse comes from Elyse Fitzpatrick’s book, Love to Eat, Hate to Eat. In her book, Fitzpatrick provides a very helpful chart to aid in understanding how to practically apply Philippians 4:8 to our thought lives. Let’s look at some of the definitions and questions from her book that we can ask ourselves to evaluate our thoughts through the grid of this verse.
Definition: factual. Ask yourself, “Is this thought true to the facts, or am I exaggerating or ignoring them? Is it true to the facts that I know about God? His Word? His Work? His Purpose for me?”
Definition: esteemed. Ask yourself, “Is this thought something that is beneath me as a daughter of the King? Does it keep my Father’s kingship in sight?
Definition: righteous. Ask yourself, “Is this thought reflective of the righteousness that Christ has purchased for me? Or is it part of the way I thought before I knew His love?
When we have a thought or something we are dwelling on, these are some of the questions we can ask ourselves to evaluate whether or not that thought should be allowed to remain in our heads. We will continue digging into more practical definitions and questions in our next blog, so stay tuned!